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What is

  1. the meaning word by word
  2. the meaning of the whole sentence
  3. the origin

of “Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato Samma Sambuddhasa”?

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  • Namo -- Homage (perhaps from a root meaning to bend)
  • Tassa -- to him
  • Bhagavato -- usually translated "blessed one" or "fortunate one"
  • Arahato -- I'm not sure whether this means deserving (perhaps deserving of homage) or fully enlightened (see also here)
  • Samma Sambuddhasa -- see SN 22.58; see also the definition for sammā

As to origin the phrase is verbatim in some suttas for example in SN 7.1, AN 5.194, and Thig 1.1.

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    Thanks for pointing out the verbatim locations. I missed that when reading the English. :D
    – OyaMist
    Oct 28 at 14:43
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Good householder: To extend a little the answer by good householder Chris.

Bhagavato: The Liberal, The (real) Giver, The Liberated One

Arahato: Perfect One, Complete One

Sammāsambuddho: The rightly Self-Awakened One

Meaning: It's an expression of homage and deep gratitude as well great respect (all of what is required to be able to receive his gift, the Fianna)

Origin: such, if not taken just as verbalisation. for "ritual/convention of paying respect", arises at the stage of of Stream Enter ("real Buddhist") where doubts in regard of the unexcelled Sublimity of the Sublime Buddha decays: eh. Noble Sangha.

Usually cited before teaching or receiving Dhamma and at any ceremony at the beginning.

One historical use:

...Then King Pasenadi Kosala, rising from his seat and arranging his upper robe over one shoulder, paid homage in the direction of the Blessed One with his hands palm-to-palm in front of his heart, and exclaimed three times:

Homage to the Blessed One, worthy & rightly self-awakened! Homage to the Blessed One, worthy & rightly self-awakened! Homage to the Blessed One, worthy & rightly self-awakened!

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